Every era generates at least one type of musician. The 50's created rock & rollers; the 60's spawned psychedelic groups; and the 70's yielded hard rockers, punks, etc. In recent years, the musical world has seen the dawn of a new model — one that is not so much rooted in musicality as it is rooted in enterprise. With the convenience and availability of modern recording tools, and with the opportunities for self-promotion and networking that the Internet provides, all it takes for musicians to become players is the passion to compose, record, and promote their own melodies. Becoming a superstar is not the stated goal of Aric Damm of the Irvine-based group The Brevet; he pursues the noble goal of creating music meant to comfort and give strength to people suffering from life's trials. The fact that his self-produced music has caught the ears of Music Supervisors, who have seen fit to include it in various television programs, is a bonus. See him and his band play the House of Blues Anaheim this Saturday along with Lowly Spects, Yukon Gold, My Double My Brother, and Ashlee Morton.
OC Weekly (Scott Feinblatt): What's the background of the band?
Aric Damm: Michael, the piano player, and myself were childhood friends (since second grade). We've been writing music together since like seventh grade, when we first started learning guitar and piano, and [some years later] we both broke off and went to college. I went to school for acting, and we started composing and doing the scores for all of the student films I was in, and that's kind of when we fell in love with this big, cinematic and epic sound that we're trying to go for…Then we just jumped in and started recording the first album. We released it in April 2013, and we just actually finished wrapping up our second album, which we will release this fall.
On your site, it mentions that you guys recorded your first album in a trailer park studio?
Yeah, we were recording in a clubhouse in a mobile home park.
So, it's kind of like a do-it-yourself type of studio situation?
Yeah, it's very much that. We're recording it all, mixing it all, and mastering it all ourselves.
Well, it sounds really good…very solid work.
Thank you. Actually, the mobile home park was perfect for it. You know, it's all wooden, and it happened to be great for us. It's a fun environment, and it inspired us in a lot of ways.
Your band's name, The Brevet, is a reference to a military warrant. What is the connection between the band's name and your overall lyrical theme (fighting against fear and doubt)?
I like to think that we have lyrics that we craft in a way that's hopefully inspiring in overcoming certain obstacles, and our band name derives from the brevet rank, in the Civil War, [which] was a rank that was ceded for honor and merit. And, once you received that rank, you didn't actually get paid any bonus for the things that you did — kind of like how we're not in this / involved in this for certain aspects of money or anything like that. We're doing it because it's something we really love doing and we're passionate about. And we hope to inspire listeners with our lyrical content in that sense.
On your website, you mention that "musicians survive through collective passion and for the greater good of the audience." What is the relationship of the music industry with the "musical revolution" you describe?
It's [a bit of] a Wild West as far as there's no one right way of doing it. We're taking this route because it's been working for us, and it's what we love doing. We like creating music that we're passionate about, and it's kind of [a modern era] as far as social media and everything. It gets you to know the band personally. We're not just trying to love these certain lifestyles…you know, some people go into it with a certain goal of just becoming famous, or…[but] we're doing it just because we love doing it. There's really no other reason for why we're doing it. We like to inspire people, and we like to trade music together.
How did you get your music into the hands of the music supervisors who featured it on 90210 or any of the other various places where it's been featured?
We signed with the licensing company [Platform Music Group], and they have been fantastic and gotten us into so many phenomenal places; we couldn't be happier.
Is that partnership like that of a manager, or…?
In a way. Music Supervisors will come to a licensing company and go, "We're looking for these types of songs, with this type of emotion," and they will pitch certain songs to the Supervisors for television shows, for films and what not. And from there it just kind of builds, and people start hearing your name; they start knowing about your band more and they start looking at you under a microscope a little bit more.
Your lyrics predominantly depict an overwhelming world in which people must struggle to see The Light. To what extent does having grown up in Irvine inspire these feelings?
I don't think it necessarily has to do with me growing up in Irvine; I actually went to school at the University of Nebraska, in the Midwest. The humility and change of pace from people out there is what drew me to that school, and it inspired me in certain ways…by the pace of the city, by the pace of the people in town…they're much more humble people. But as far as overcoming battles and obstacles, I just think that that's a [through line] in many people's lives. And if I can depict that in lyrics and inspire someone, that's my main goal. I don't think it comes from being in Irvine or in Nebraska.